Interview of the Week: Jill Tiefenthaler, CEO National Geographic Society

This past January, Jill Tiefenthaler was named the first female chief executive officer of National Geographic Society after having served as the president of Colorado College since 2011. At NGS Jill will now oversee the development and implementation of the Society’s mission-driven work and programmatic agenda as well as lead the Society’s global community of Explorers: scientists, innovators, educators, and storytellers.

We had a chance to sit down with her to ask about the direction she hopes to take the Society in the time of the BLM movement as well as her approach to advancing the mission of protecting 30% of nature by 2030 (30 by 30). Here are a few excerpts from the interview:

National Geographic is committed to facing and learning from our past. In the past, we have to recognize that the Society has not valued everyone’s stories equally, and our grant work hasnot always reflected the world in which we live. We’ve made great progress, as of last year 62% of our grants were awarded to citizens of countries other than the U.S. and more than 50% of our grants were awarded to women. But we have much more to do and we have several new programs that are building on this success.”

.

Science makes it clear that [the 30 by 30] milestone is needed if we’re to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals, mitigate the effects of climate change, and avoid an extinction crisis. And that’s why the Wyss Campaign for Nature is calling on world leaders to take transformative action to commit to a global deal for nature at next year’s Convention on Biological Diversity in China.”

.

“I see my role at the Society as being a catalyst to help the organization protect endangered species, increase our understanding of human history and culture, and conserve the planet’s most iconic places. The Soceity’s programmatic work has never been more important, and National Geographic’s platform has never been stronger.”

Up Next

One Cool Thing: When Earth is Under Attack, What Do We Do?

One Cool Thing: When Earth is Under Attack, What Do We Do?

Stand up, fight back. Climate activists across 70 countries took to their respective streets on Friday, inspired by Swedish Youth Activist Greta Thunberg. After a summer of devastating climate disasters across the globe, young people are more anxious than ever about climate change. “There are natural disasters all over the world,” said protester Quang Paasch, […]

Continue Reading 161 words

Newsmaker of the Week: Our Exclusive Interview with Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines


Commercial aviation accounts for 11% of US transportation CO2 emissions and 2.4% of global emissions, and the US is the largest aviation emitter in the world. On Wednesday, 100 environmental organizations urged President Biden to cut airplane pollution. Cutting carbon emissions in the sector is crucial to fighting climate change, but decarbonizing an industry that […]

Continue Reading 240 words
Bezos Earmarks $1 billion of $10 billion Earth Fund for 30×30 Conservation

Bezos Earmarks $1 billion of $10 billion Earth Fund for 30×30 Conservation

By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor One year after founding the $10 billion Bezos Earth Fund, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has earmarked $1 billion for conservation efforts aimed at protecting 30% of all lands and waters by 2030. The organization stated in a press release that it would prioritize “areas that are important for biodiversity […]

Continue Reading 435 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.